BannerWeb gets a makeover

Taylor Nicole Richards – News Writer

Southern has teamed up with Ellucian to completely revamp all BannerWeb services for students and faculty. Ellucian is a company that provides software and technological services for higher education institutions. On April 11, consultants from the company presented their new package in the Student Center theatre.

“Our new hosting model will give us agility in the marketplace. We made sure everything is running at an easy-to-use level,” said Bob Zwarycz, director of cloud architecture for Ellucian.

BannerWeb will be moving out of its slow-moving, outdated website with multiple independent components to a cloud-like platform. The biggest upgrade to BannerWeb will be its presence as an application for tablets, phones and wearable devices like the Apple Watch.

All of its features will be available right at students’ fingertips.

“Everything will be integrated: holds, grades, courses, you name it,” said Dave Curran, principal solutions consultant. “Let’s get the students on their devices: no standing in line.”

The new BannerWeb app will have a left-hand drop down menu that will show everything it offers at once. If a student wanted to see their academic history, they can immediately check their current GPA or filter to see their grades by term or by specific class. There will be notifications within the app, similar to the ones on Facebook, that will show them if there is a hold on their account or if even they planned on seeing a speaker on campus. Blackboard will be integrated within the app in real time, so students can also see exact announcements, assignments, and alerts with no double log-on or need for a separate app.

Registering for classes will be easier than ever before. Students can search for their classes, add multiple to their “cart,” then register all at once. It does all the schedule conflict and prerequisite checks on its own. It even shows if a class is filling up fast. Once a student registers, they will get a “success” message then everything will show up in a schedule.

If it is add/drop period and someone wants to switch a class, they can add or drop, and their schedule will be laid-out below their new search, updating as they go. If a student has a hold on their account, an error message will prevent them from registering. They can pay for that hold immediately within the app and it will update their account within seconds; no waiting at Bursar’s.

During the presentation, Curran showed exactly how the app will look by highlighting each feature on mobile and tablet displays.

“Each student has a profile. They can check their GPA whenever. They can also look at the professors of their new classes or the ones they’re in now. There’s even an option to send their new professor an email,” said Curran.

The new BannerWeb will also have a clearer layout of degree evaluations. Blocks will break up a student’s degree in terms of gen eds, major and minor classes. It will include charts that lay out the completion of each of those areas, as well as total credit hours, in percentage. All of that, plus a summary and notes, will be in one view that can be pulled up at any time.

Paying tuition, holds, or adjusting payment plans will be incorporated in the new update instead of being redirected to a different payment center website. The app will also lay out exactly what is required of them academically for financial aid purposes.

Kim Fisher, senior principal solutions consultant, said that everything Ellucian does is meant to support student success.

“Every decision we make has to point back to these four things: Student success, constituent experience, operational efficiency, and institutional growth,” said Fisher. “We understand the modern ease-of-access applications that students demand and we are providing that.”

Photo Credit: MySCSU/BannerWeb Site

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